Get special offers, recipes, health news, PLUS our FREE seafood cooking guide! I'm on Board Hide 
Got it, thanks! Click here for your FREE seafood cooking guide & recipes e-booklet.Hide 
Chef Recipe Videos
Slow-Roasted King Salmon with Skyphos Salad

Welcome to Vital Choice at Home!

This series features me, Michelle – a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains – my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood and lots of regular home cooking.

(Click here to learn more about me, below.)

I want to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.

First, let me say right off that this salmon tastes exactly as delicious as it looks!

I conducted several experiments with this preparation and was well-compensated for my risk taking.

I'd never cooked Wild Pacific King Salmon before and had never tried slow roasting.

This recipe (see below) is perfect for entertaining, as the fish is best served at room temperature.

However, I made it for myself for lunch and it couldn't be easier as a simple, healthy meal for one (or several).

About the king salmon
As I said, this was my first experience cooking king salmon, and let me tell you, it won't be the last!

I was skeptical about whether or not I would be able to taste a difference between king salmon and other varieties, since I have a relatively untrained palate.

I was genuinely surprised that you really can taste a difference!

King salmon, the state fish of Alaska, is the fattiest and highest in omega-3 fatty acids among all wild Pacific salmon species, making it the richest and lushest of all.

To preserve its fresh-caught quality, Vital Choice king salmon is line-harvested by hand from small boats, immediately put on ice, and then flash-frozen within a few hours of leaving the water.

Why slow roast salmon?
I've recently read about slow roasting fish several places, and was curious to see how it differed from roasting at high temperature.

Slow roasting is just what it sounds like – cooking the fish much more slowly at low heat (I used a 200º oven) for a longer period of time, often in a moist environment.

This method delivers a wonderfully tender, evenly cooked salmon with a beautiful, buttery texture and flavor.

Also, by slow roasting you run much less risk of cooking salmon past the perfect moment of "doneness”, where the fish is just beginning to flake and is still slightly pink in the center. 

(You need't cook salmon until it's completely done in the center, because it will continue to self-cook if allowed to rest outside the oven for a few more minutes.)

Slow roasting coaxes out maximum tenderness and moistness without overcooking … which is actually more of a risk with significantly leaner sockeye and silver salmon.

Variations on a theme
The beauty of this style of preparation is that it lends itself to a variety of flavor options.

As you can see, I tried mine two ways – one with just a bit of oil, salt and pepper, and one with chopped red rosie basil and lemon zest.

Both versions were excellent – the salmon has a great deal of its own flavor, but I will say the basil and lemon version was just delightful. 

You can easily vary the toppings with what's in season – my variation worked perfectly with the simple summer salad I made.

My salad features the most tender organic skyphos lettuce, a type of butterhead lettuce that proved an ideal textural match for the luscious king salmon.

Slow-Roasted King Salmon with a Skyphos Lettuce Salad
Serves 2 (easily doubles to serve 4)

Salmon ingredients
Fresh basil
Zest of 1 lemon

*Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or immerse the vacuum-sealed fish in cold water for 20 minutes or until it's fully flexible

Prepare the salmon
  1. Preheat the oven to 200º.
  2. Place a baking dish full of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven to keep the air moist while the salmon roasts.
  3. Prepare a baking pan by coating with olive oil or parchment paper (I prefer parchment).
  4. Lightly coat salmon fillets with oil, salt and pepper to taste and place skin down on the prepared pan or parchment.
  5. Top with chopped basil and lemon zest (or other herbs and spices). (To chiffonade the basil, stack leaves lengthwise, roll the stack up from top to bottom making a long, thin roll. Slice from one end to the other, creating tiny ribbons.)
  6. Roast the salmon, checking often, for 30-45 minutes depending on your preferred level of doneness, until just firm to the touch and beginning to flake. When the salmon is done, juices will just be forming on the surface.
My salmon slid effortlessly off the skin after roasting.

Salmon can sit at room temperature for several hours until serving (this would make a great picnic meal!).

Salad ingredients
1 small head butter lettuce
1 large tomato, chopped
1-2 watermelon radishes, peeled, halved and very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or organic white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard salt and pepper to taste

Assemble the salad
  1. Whisk together oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste (you may end up with extra vinaigrette).
  2. Combine rinsed butterhead lettuce, chopped fresh tomato and watermelon radishes and coat lightly with vinaigrette. (If you don't have watermelon radishes, use cucumber or any other salad toppings you prefer. I just love the look of this interesting variety, which has a sharp bite that's a great foil to the velvety richness of the salmon).

I have more Vital Choice Wild Pacific King Salmon in the freezer – what should I do with it?

Please help inspire my next post. Send me a note and let me know what preparations you've enjoyed in the past!

My rating: 4 out of 4 stars

A Note from Michelle
Like you, I have a passion for beautiful-yet-healthy food that's easy to prepare.

While I do love making the occasional "fancy” dinner, most of the time I'm short on time and have a house full of hungry people who want to eat NOW.

I'm not a professional chef – just a busy mom who loves to cook and who's focused on that intersection of healthy and delicious.

I want this series to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.

Check out these customer favorites